2020 has certainly been a difficult year to say the least. We’re all, I think, forever changed. And Pushing Boundaries is no exception. Despite the many challenges, as an organization we managed some amazing things.
We served 56 unique therapy clients and provided 2091 hours of therapy. We saw clients kneel for the first time, reduce reliance on a ventilator, and walk into the facility on their own. We had some people regain hand function and saw some re-learn to crawl, step, and move fingers. We added several amazing new board members and a new therapist! All this despite being closed for five months.
We also learned how to have our facility closed and still stay connected with each other: Zoom check-ins with clients, Zoom board meetings, Zoom happy hours, Zoom connections, Zoom hang outs with donors and supporters. We learned about PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and intensified our already high cleaning standards. We ordered hospital grade air filtration systems and masks galore. We stocked up on scrubs and gloves and applied for loans and grants and all of these steps (along with a lot of cleaning supplies) helped us to find a way to reopen and be as safe as anyone can be right now.
I know that no one could have anticipated that a global pandemic would have interrupted every single aspect of our lives. On top of that, a stressful and politically charged year was intensified by a season of protests that continue today. Protests and rallies, we note, that were ignited by racial injustice, police brutality, and the unfettered uprising of white supremacy. These events have forced us all, as individuals and as organizations, to explore how to influence true and lasting systemic change.
At PB, like many organizations in 2020, we took the opportunity to look inward around these challenging topics. We began by forming our first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. We’re striving as an organization to look through the lens of anti-oppression and challenge ourselves to more consistently elevate the voices of marginalized groups at all levels (clients, staff, board, supporters) and in all contexts. We’re consulting with experts (often via Zoom!) and, to the degree we can, increasing outreach to clients about scholarships and community support.
In short, it has been a whirlwind year filled with many challenges, difficult conversations, and tough choices. But we’ve also been blessed. You have supported us in amazing ways big and small. Companies that said “keep the funds” that were meant to sponsor an event that never happened and individuals who donated at a level that has, at times, made us cry. Friends dropping off Clorox wipes (when they were crazy-hard to come by) to supporters asking their friends to donate for the first time. We had a generous donation of paint that allowed us to start refreshing the space while we were closed. And we had still others who had doughnuts and lunch delivered to our whole crew in celebration of our reopening. Because of you, our doors are still open and were here, doing our thing, helping our clients hit those new milestones every day. Some bonus good news: just this past week, our entire staff got their first round of vaccinations (see below)!
Normally in these year-in-review letters, I am wistfully reminiscing the past year and imaging the year ahead with enthusiasm. I can’t say I am wistful about much of 2020, but I am enthusiastic about 2021- in large because of what we’re taking from last year. The people all around us. Our staff, our clients, our board, our community. A true and deep connection that got us through a year I know none of us will forget.
I am humbled by it all and wish us all a healthy, happy 2021. Here’s to the triumphs ahead.